Morse Micro confirms Wi-Fi certification of HaLow chips, modules, reference designs
Semiconductor company Morse Micro, developing Wi-Fi HaLow for low-power mid-range IoT connectivity, has confirmed its various chipsets, modules, and reference designs have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance as part of its new Wi-Fi HaLow accreditation scheme. Its new Wi-Fi HaLow reference design is among the first to be certified by the alliance, and the first reference design of any sort for operation in 8MHz bandwidth, it said.
Wi-Fi HaLow (802.11ah) uses sub-GHz spectrum frequencies in global ISM bands, between 850 MHz and 950 MHz. These offer advantages over the unlicensed 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, where Wi-Fi traditionally plays, insofar as the spectrum is less congested and lower frequency, improving reliability, propagation, and coverage. As a consequence, the HaLow version makes Wi-Fi viable effectively for lower-power wider-area IoT cases.
It offers multi-vendor interoperability by using existing Wi-Fi protocols, making it compatible with other Wi-Fi Alliance certified products, and the same security and setup as existing Wi-Fi solutions. It straddles the line between low-power short-range technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee, and the traditional low-power wide-area networking (LPWAN) set, including LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and Sigfox.
Australia-based Morse Micro is an official Wi-Fi HaLow testbed vendor, and assisted with driving availability of the 802.11 ah certification project in the Wi-Fi Alliance. It has been on a “fast path in the Wi-Fi HaLow certification effort”, it said. The Wi-Fi Alliance confirmed earlier this week it is now certifying HaLow-based ioT devices (as ‘Wi-Fi Certified HaLow’), in sundry sensors, wearables, cameras, meters, and other IoT applications.
Morse Micro, which has raised at least AUD$30 million from investors since it was founded in 2016, released system-on-chip (SoC) and module samples to select developers in the summer, with a view to raise interest in the Wi-Fi HaLow standard among the IoT developer community. The company claims a 10-times advance with its Wi-Fi HaLow chips in terms of range, compared with conventional Wi-Fi.
Its developing Wi-Fi HaLow portfolio includes the “smallest, fastest and lowest-power” IEEE 802.11ah compliant SoCs. The MM6104 SoC supports 1 MHz, 2 MHz, and 4 MHz channel bandwidth; the MM6108 SoC also supports 8 MHz bandwidth. Both provide a single-chip solution incorporating the radio, PHY, and MAC, supporting data rates from “tens of Mbps to hundreds of Kbps at the farthest range”.
A statement said: “Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow platform is poised to redefine low-power, long-reach Wi-Fi connectivity for IoT… Morse Micro’s low-power IC design, combined with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, enables extended sleep times and lower power consumption for battery-operated client devices, achieving longer battery life durations than other existing IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax generations.”
Michael De Nil, co-founder and chief executive at Morse Micro, said: “The potential of extending the already transformative characteristics of Wi-Fi into the sub-1 GHz band is hard to overstate, and we applaud Wi-Fi Alliance’s leadership in unleashing a new era of long-range, low-power and high-capacity Wi-Fi HaLow experiences for consumers.”
He added: “As the leading Wi-Fi HaLow innovator, we have invested heavily in R&D to ensure the market is ready with SoCs and modules that deliver unmatched benefits unlike any Wi-Fi or LPWAN technology available today. The addition of sub-1 GHz Wi-Fi HaLow will be a game changer for consumers and enterprises, from smart homes and smart cities to industrial markets and everything in between.”
Kevin Robinson, senior vice president of marketing at the Wi-Fi Alliance, said: “Companies like Morse Micro are helping to accelerate market acceptance of Wi-Fi HaLow as a standards-based solution for long-range, low-power IoT connectivity. Certified HaLow devices and products augment Wi-Fi’s portfolio by bringing Wi-Fi into the sub-GHz spectrum to enable a variety of IoT use cases in smart building, smart city, industrial and agricultural environments.”